New prognostic biomarkers of mortality in patients undergoing liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma

World J Gastroenterol. 2018 Oct 7;24(37):4230-4242. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v24.i37.4230.


The outcome prediction of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients undergoing liver transplantation (LT) was classically established using various macromorphological factors and serum alpha-fetoprotein levels prior to LT. However, other biomarkers have recently been reported to be associated with the prognosis of HCC patients undergoing to LT. This review summarizes clinical data on these new biomarkers. High blood levels of malondialdehyde, total antioxidant capacity, caspase-cleaved cytokeratin-18, soluble CD40 ligand, substance P, C-reactive protein, and vascular endothelial growth factor, increased neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio and platelet to lymphocyte ratio in blood, high peripheral blood expression of human telomerase reverse transcriptase messenger ribonucleic acid, and high HCC expression of dickkopf-1 have recently been associated with decreased survival rates. In addition, high blood levels of des-gamma-carboxy prothrombin, and high HCC expression of glypican-3, E-cadherin and beta-catenin have been associated with increased HCC recurrence. Additional research is necessary to establish the prognostic role of these biomarkers in HCC prior to LT. Furthermore, some of these biomarkers are also interesting because their potential modulation could help to create new research lines for improving the outcomes of those patients.

Keywords: Biomarkers; Genomic; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Liver transplantation; Outcome; Recurrence; Survival.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • CD40 Ligand / metabolism
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / surgery*
  • Caspases / metabolism
  • Glypicans / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism
  • Keratin-18 / chemistry
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Liver Neoplasms / mortality
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Malondialdehyde / chemistry
  • Prognosis
  • Substance P / chemistry
  • Telomerase / metabolism
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism
  • beta Catenin / metabolism


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CDH1 protein, human
  • CTNNB1 protein, human
  • Cadherins
  • DKK1 protein, human
  • Glypicans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Keratin-18
  • VEGFA protein, human
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • beta Catenin
  • CD40 Ligand
  • Substance P
  • Malondialdehyde
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Telomerase
  • Caspases